Saturday, February 25, 2012

[Guest] Attracting Good People

Tim or, as he's known here at Perspectives, "my friend the Economist," is a good friend of mine, and a relatively young blogger. But youth in the blogging community doesn't mean lacking in substance or maturity, in the least! Tim has crafted a space filled with enough variety to keep you guessing, yet enough consistency to keep readers coming back.

Each post is better than the last. As soon as I knew that Tim was blogging consistently, there was very little doubt in my mind that I wanted his Perspective. Well, here it is! Enjoy!

For more of Tim's work you can check his blog out here!

The saying goes "You are what you eat." Simple enough, right? And it's surprisingly true. In the end, what you eat will impact the way you feel, and even if you don't realize it, it has an effect on the way you act. It's not just a saying, it's reality. It's not always easy to see, and sometimes you have to change the way you eat to realize the drastic changes it can make. Eating a lot of fast food? A lot of junk food? Don't feel bad, we all do it. But try giving it up, or keeping it to maybe a single trip to McDonald's per week. You'll be amazed at how well you feel.

To me, everything in life is related. Everything impacts everything else. It's important to take a closer look at life every once in a while. It's also amazing how many scary parallels there are. In this case - "You are what you eat" and "you are who you eat."

No, I'm not advocating cannibalism. You are who you eat, simply means you are who you hang around with. The common thinking on this topic is that we're the average of the five people we spend the most time with. For some people that means that they are the average of the family they have. Ever realize that older siblings and younger siblings are very different, but the middle child is kind of a mix of the two? This happens in all kinds of relationships. Whether it's family, friends or coworkers.

Just like poor eating habits can make you feel like crap, bad relationships can do the same thing. It may be tough, but it's important to take an honest look at who you chose to hang around with, and see how they impact your life. Are you the mix of your top 5 friends? How do you feel about your life? Be honest. Are things going well? Do you feel stressed out, or even a little depressed. Unfortunately, while friends can be great support at tough times, they can also drag you down.

Dennis Prager said something a while back along the lines of "good people attract good people." Are your friends good people? It's a tough call, I know, but sometimes letting go of bad relationships can improve your life. Saying goodbye to a friend who may be a good person, but also likes to drink and do drugs is probably for the best. A friend who is constantly involved in drama can pass on that stress to you, and that's not good. If you are feeling like crap, it can be life changing to spend less time with certain people.

In the end, no matter how altruistic you think you are, a toxic relationship is just that - toxic. But there are ways of dealing with toxic people. As Lillian Glass describes in her book, Toxic People, not all relationships need to end. Youcan save a bad friendship. If someone is bothering you, try the "mirror technique". It's basically giving this person a taste of their own medicine. Sometimes people don't know that how they're acting can be upsetting. Let the person know! That may be all it takes to change the way they treat you. Of course, when you "mirror" them, they might just think you agree with them, and continue doing what they're doing.

Another technique is "calm questioning". Is there something that somebody said that really bothers you? Talk to them about it calmly. It might be best to do this when it's just the two of you, but sit them down, and ask them questions about what they said. Maybe you misunderstood them, or maybe they just misspoke. A lack of communication can lead to a lot of problems, and it would be silly to let a simple misunderstanding ruin a relationship.

In the end though, you have to think of yourself first. If you don't feel good around this person, or if they encourage you to do things that you aren't comfortable with, it might be time for the "unplug". If someone is negatively affecting your mood, stress level, or general happiness, it's time to call it quits.

It's hard to do, I know. I've done it myself. After being let down multiple times in a friendship I had to just let it go. I still wish the friend the best. I don't hold grudges, or keep hate in my heart. If I did, then I wouldn't have truly left the relationship.

Letting go not only got a lot of stress out of my life, but it also freed up time to meet new people and renew friendships with people who I hadn't given a fair chance in the first place. There will always be people who leave our lives for one reason or another, so don't neglect to let people go for fear that no one else will come along. New friendships will be made, new girlfriends/boyfriends will come along. But once those new friends do come along, keep an eye out for the kinds of personality traits that you know will upset you. You don't want to wind up in the same situation you just got out of.

Only have one "good" friend? That's fine. Only spend time with them. Soon enough, they will start to rub off on you. You'll start to be the "good" person, and people will be attracted to you. There's a quirky philosophy out there called the "Law of Attraction". Essentially, everything we do or think sends out energy into the universe, and that energy eventually comes back. When it comes back it could be in the form of job opportunities, life changing events, or just simple friendships. The key is to send out only positive energy, because the energy you send out is the same energy you get back.

Like Prager said, "Good people attract good people." It just sometimes takes a little bit of rehab and withdrawal to get things back on track. Eliminate those negative relationships that are forcing you to put out negative energy. Everything comes full circle, whether you believe in God or karma. What kind of energy are you putting out? What kind of people are you attracting into your life?

Recommended reading - "Toxic Relationships" by Lillian Glass, "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne, and "How to Win Friends and Influence People" by Dale Carnegie.

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